First off, can you tell us about your background and your product?
How long did it take to build your initial prototype and how did you validate it?
So, because I had such a low expectations for the project to succeed, I wanted to validate it ASAP and with little engineering as possible. I decided it’ll be a super simple list of jobs and everything else will be automated with existing apps. E.g. instead of building a submit form, I used Google Forms and feeding back new submissions via Zapier. I was even considering replacing MongoDB and just storing job info in Excel (Google Spreadsheets), but it’s just faster for me to use Mongo, compared to Google Drive API. Otherwise I would have used it for simplicity sake. So it took me just two days to build out a prototype and deploy it live to the Internet.
Then, I gave myself a pretty strict deadline. I said: “0 to profit within 90 days”. That’s 3 months. And if the site did not generate enough revenue, I’d shut it down.
So, after launching the site, i just posted a few crypto jobs myself and casually shared it on my Facebook and Twitter. Eventually my friends were excited enough about it and pushed me to “hunt it” on Product Hunt. Ahead of my planned schedule, in fact! Crypto Jobs list went live on Product Hunt around October 15th and from there on it been getting quite a bit of attention 🚀
How did you get your first paying customer and how long did it take?
Eventually companies started asking me “how much is it for post and to feature?”. Took about 2 months before the first customer paid. I believe it was Wanchain (Canadian blockchain startup)
What worked and what didn't work when finding your first users?
- Cold email sometimes worked, sometimes did not. But I guess, i was not too persistent at it. Perhaps because I do like writing code over email. Haha 😂
- Talking to people personally and genuinely trying to help worked pretty well.
- Instagram did not work at all.
How did you grow your user based from the first paying customer?
Most of it was word-of-mouth. Crypto Jobs List started at the right time and solves a real problem. When people genuinely want to help their friends — they’d just direct them to Crypto Jobs List. Whether in-person, or on twitter. 😅
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to onboard their first users?
Solve your own problem. Not a fictional one. But the one you really face every day for for months or years…
Be real and personal. If you are a small 1-person project — be honest about it. People like that. Don’t pretend to be a large brand that got “everything figured out”. People hate that.
Install a chat widget on your site and talk to your customers. Listen to them. No one cares about your ideas, everyone cares about their own problems. If your ideas happen to solve someone’s problems, people will use them.
What resources have helped you in the early stages?
- IndieHackers.com community and podcast - very inspirational!
How can people reach you and find out more?